Mahatma Gandhi’s name is on the lips of every child, every young man and every old man. He was the greatest man not only of India but of the world also. He was the father of Nation. We generally call him Bapu. His full name was Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi.
His Parentage and Education:
Gandhi was born at Porbundar in Kathiawar in the year of 1869 on 2nd October. His father Kaba Gandhi was the Diwan of Rajkot state. His mother was a noble and pious lady. She taught her son all religious ideas.
At the age of seven he was sent to school. At school he proved himself only an average boy. He was always regular and punctual in his class. After passing his matriculation Examination he first studied at college and then went to England to study Law. In London he made acquaintance with Mrs. Besant and read to work of Tolstoy. Tolstoy’s teachings had deep influence on his mind. In 1891 he was called to bar.
Practice as Lawyer:
After completing his studies he returned to India. He was shocked to hear the death of his mother whom he loved most. He started his practice at Bombay. But he did not do well there. Then he went to Rajkot. He was not a successful lawyer because he did not like to plead false cases.
His work in South Africa:
But after sometimes luck favored him, a big Indian merchant in South Africa wanted the services of an advocate to conduct a big law-suit in a court. He cabled to Gandhiji and offered him a handsome fee. Gandhiji went to Africa.
While in Africa he saw a bad condition of Indians there. He made up his mind to put up a brave fight for their rights. He founded the National Indian Congress. Gandhi and his friends were jailed but they carried on fight. In 1914 the Indian Relief Act was passed. This bettered the lot of the Indian to a great extent.
His Political work in India:
After achieving success in Africa, Gandhiji returned to India. He joined the Congress. He put new life into the movement and soon became its leader. Under his leadership, the Congress started non-violence, non-cooperation movements to protest against cruel acts of the British Government. He stood against the Rowlat and other unjust laws. Side by side with this the congress had constructive work- the removal of untouchability and the Hindu-Muslim unity.
The British Government did its best to put down the independence movement. It sent Gandhiji and other leaders to jail several times. But they continued the struggle till India became free on the 15th august, 1947.
Gandhiji’s end came all of a sudden. He was shot dead by a thoughtless Youngman whose views differed from him. He died on 30 January, 1948.
Mahatma Gandhi was deeply religious man. He preached and practiced truth. He led simple life. He had great love for the poor. He had powerful personality. He followed the path of truth and ahimsa. He got India’s freedom by a new weapon of non-violence. He was a great saint. He loved peace. He raised the Harijans and backward people.
Gandhiji was a great teacher, preacher, thinker and solider. He will be remembered and respected by the world for ever. The finest tribute paid to him was fro General Smuts who called him ‘a prince among men’. May his soul rest in peace! May his teachings show the right path the humanity of the day.